Daily Readings for Sunday, December 8th

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Daily Readings for Sunday, December 8th

Daily Reflections


Life will take on a new meaning. To watch people recover,
to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to
see a fellowship grow up about you. to have a host of
friends - this is an experience you must not miss. . . .
Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is
the bright spot of our lives.

It is through service that the greatest rewards are to be
found. But to be in a position of offering true, useful
and effective service to others, I must first work on
myself. This means that I have to abandon myself to God,
admitting my faults and clearing away the wreckage of my
past. Work on myself has taught me how to find the
necessary peace and serenity to successfully merge
inspiration and experience. I have learned how to be, in
the truest sense, an open channel of sobriety.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day

A.A. Thought For The Day

The length of time of our sobriety is not as important as
the quality of it. A person who has been in A.A. for a number
of years may not be in as good mental condition as a person
who has only been in a few months. It is a great
satisfaction to have been an A.A. member for a long time
and we often mention it. It may sometimes help the newer
members, because they may say to themselves, if they can do
it I can do it. And yet the older members must realize
that as long as they live they are only one drink away
from a drunk. What is the quality of my sobriety?

Meditation For The Day

"And greater works than this shall ye do." We can do
greater works when we have more experience of the new way
of life. We can have all the power we need from the Unseen
God. We can have His grace, His spirit, to make us effective
as we go along each day. Opportunities for a better world
are all around us. Greater works can we do. But we do not
work alone. The power of God is behind all good works.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may find my rightful place in the world.
I pray that my works may be made more effective by the
grace of God.

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As Bill Sees It

Two-Way Tolerance, p. 73

"Your point of view was once mine. Fortunately, A.A. is constructed
so that we need not debate the existence of God; but for best results,
most of us must depend upon a Higher Power, and no right-minded
A.A. would challenge your privilege to believe precisely that way.
We should all be glad that good recoveries can be made even on this
limited basis.

"But turnabout is fair play. If you would expect tolerance for your
point of view, I am sure you would be willing to reciprocate. I try to
remember that, down through the centuries, lots of brighter people
than I have been found on both sides of this debate about belief. For
myself, of late years, I am finding it much easier to believe that God
made man, than that man made God."

Letter, 1966

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Walk In Dry Places

A new frame of mind
Mood Control
Long after AA was started, the term mood-altering drug came into vogue. Though this originally was applied to hard drugs, it is also true of alcohol.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to alter one's mood. None of us really wants to be depressed, anxious, or fearful. We're all looking for ways to stay happy and high-spirited.
The problem with all mood-altering drugs, alcohol included, is that they provide temporary highs while bringing on long-term destruction and enslavement. We would love to have those highs if they did not carry such a terrible price.
But we can seek a new frame of mind in sober living that will give us better moods without destroying us. This is "the peace that passes all understanding," and it comes only from living the right way and listening to our Higher Power. This is the only mood control that really works.
I want to be in a good mood today, but it must be as a result of having a healthy frame of mind. I have no desire for the false highs that were killing me.

************************************************** *********

Keep It Simple

"When I was about 12, I used to think I must be a genius, but nobody's noticed."---John Lennon.
"We all have secret ideas about ourselves. How often we have said to ourselves, If only They knew...But if we watch others, we see that many of their ideas are not so secret. We can often guess how they see themselves by the way they act. We all act out our secrets. Faith means trusting our Higher Power with our secrets. Faith in others means trusting them with our secret feelings. Why share these secrets? When we were using alcohol or other drugs we lived too much in a secret world. We need to give up the secrets that keep us from others. We need others in our lives. Our spirits need to be close to others.
Prayer for the Day: God, help me to live in ways I'm not ashamed to tell others. Allow me to meet you and others, free of shame.
Action for the Day: Today, I'll share one of my secrets w/ a loving friend."

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Each Day a New Beginning

I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring. --Dodie Smith
Repeatedly, today and every day, we will be in new situations, new settings with old friends, and old settings and situations with new friends. Each instance is fresh, unlike all the times before. And inspiration can accompany each moment, if we but recognize how special it is.
"We will not pass this way again," so the song says, which heightens the meaning of each encounter, every experience. Acknowledging that something can be gained each step along the way invites inspiration.
Inspiration moves us to new heights. We will be called to step beyond our present boundaries. Maybe today. Whenever the inspiration catches our attention, we can trust its invitation; we are ready for the challenge it offers. We need not let our narrow, personal expectations of an experience, a new situation perhaps, prevent us from being open to all the dynamic possibilities it offers.
I must be willing to let my whole self be moved, inspired. I must be willing to let each moment I experience be the only moment getting my attention.

************************************************** *********

Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition

Chapter 8 - TO WIVES *

WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS, our book thus far has spoken of men. But what we have said applies quite as much to women. Our activities in behalf of women who drink are on the increase. There is every evidence that women regain their health as readily as men if they try our suggestions.

* The fellowship of Al-Anon Family Groups was formed about thirteen years after this chapter was written. Though it is entirely separate from Alcoholics Anonymous, it uses the general principles of the A.A. program as a guide for husbands, wives, relatives, friends, and others close to alcoholics. The foregoing pages (though addressed only to wives) indicate the problems such people may face. Alateen, for teen-aged children of alcoholics, is a part of Al-Anon.
If there is no Al-Anon listing in your local telephone book, you may obtain further information on Al-Anon Family Groups by writing to its World Service Office: Box 862, Midtown Station, New York, NY 10018-0862

p. 104

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Alcoholics Anonymous - Fourth Edition Stories

BUILDING A NEW LIFE - Hallucinating and restrained by sheriff's deputies and hospital staff, this once-happy family man received an unexpected gift from God--a firm foundation in sobriety that would hold up through good times and bad.

At home on leave, I married a young woman from my hometown, and our first daughter was born the next year. When I came home from the air force, soon after that, the party really started. A big hero like me! I drank only on weekends at first, drinking and dancing with my old buddies and their new wives. The only car accident I was in while drunk happened that year. It was a hit-and-run on a parked car, and my buddy just pulled the car's fender off the front of my car and we kept on driving. The next morning we looked in the paper to see if the accident was mentioned. It wasn't, and we were never found out.

p. 478

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

Step Eight - "Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all."

We might next ask ourselves what we mean when we say that we have "harmed" other people. What kinds of "harm" do people do one another, anyway? To define the word "harm" in a practical way, we might call it the result of instincts in collision, which cause physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual damage to people. If our tempers are consistently bad, we arouse anger in others. If we lie or cheat, we deprive others not only of their worldly goods, but of their emotional security and peace of mind. We really issue them an invitation to become contemptuous and vengeful. If our sex conduct is selfish, we may excite jealousy, misery, and a strong desire to retaliate in kind.

p. 80

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A truly great person is the one who gives you a chance.
--Paul Duffy

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't
have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
--Frederick Keonig

The surest way to drive out the darkness is to bring in the light.

"All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them."
--Walt Disney

"History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered
heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to
become discouraged by their defeats."
--B. C. Forbes

Serenity isn't freedom from the storm; it is peace within the storm.

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Father Leo's Daily Meditation


"All animals, except man, know
that the ultimate of life is to
enjoy it."
-- Samuel Butler

Today I choose to enjoy my life. Regardless of the problem and difficulties that this
day will bring, I have an inner joy that comes with my recovery from addiction. With a
clear head and body free from drugs and chemicals I can face today and look forward
to tomorrow. My life is to be enjoyed not endured. My worst days today are better
than my best days as an addict. Spiritually I am free because I have begun to
discover me. God can now be perceived in His world because I have sobriety.

Lord of all play, I dance before You in my world and I can stop to smell the roses.

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Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our
Psalm 95:1

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the
good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Romans 8:28

"God is able to do far more than we would dare to ask or even dream of - infinitely
beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes."
Ephesians 3:20

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Daily Inspiration

If you are able to accept the hand of love that God extends to you, you will be able to free yourself of fears and show the full beauty of your inner spirit. Lord, we all suffer from weaknesses of one kind or another, so in our moments of strength, we ask that we may offer help, not judgment, to those who need it.

Take less for granted and you will become very busy enjoying all that you have. Lord, thank you for my blessings and for all those that I am able to share them with.

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NA Just For Today

Calling A Defect A Defect

"When we see how our defects exist in our lives and accept them, we can let go of them and get on with our new life."
Basic Text pg. 33-34

Sometimes our readiness to have our character defects removed depends on what we call them. If misnaming our defects makes them seem less "defective" we may be unable to see the damage they cause. And if they seem to be causing no harm, why would we ever ask our Higher Power to remove them from our lives?

Take "people pleasing" for example. Doesn't really sound all that bad, does it? It just means we're nice to people, right? Not quite. To put it bluntly, it means we're dishonest and manipulative. We lie about our feelings, our beliefs, and our needs, trying to soothe others into compliance with our wishes.
Or perhaps we think we're "easygoing." But does "easygoing" mean we ignore our housework, avoid confrontations, and stay put in a comfortable rut? Then a better name for it would be "laziness" or "procrastination" or "fear."

Many of us have trouble identifying our character defects. If this is the case for us, we can talk with our sponsor or our NA friends. We clearly and honestly describe our behavior to them and ask for their help in identifying our defects. As time passes, we'll become progressively better able to identify our own character defects, calling them by their true names.

Just for today: I will call my defects by their true names. If I have trouble doing this, I will ask my sponsor for help.

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You are reading from the book Today's Gift.
If you must love your neighbor as yourself, it is at least as fair to love yourself as your neighbor. --Nicholas De Chamfort
We sometimes find it difficult to accept a compliment. We may feel we don't deserve such attention, and point out reasons why the compliment is untrue. When we act this way, we show a lack of love for ourselves.
God teaches us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Yet, before we can love anyone, we must believe we are worthy of the same love. No creature is undeserving of love, God reminds us of that. We can stop hiding behind feelings of unworthiness. There's nothing stopping us but ourselves. Sometimes it takes courage to say thank you when we get a compliment. Let's exercise that courage, and each time we do, we'll find our self-love growing.
When I thank people today, will I have the courage to smile, too?

You are reading from the book Touchstones.
There are two equally dangerous extremes - to shut reason out, and to let nothing else in. --Pascal
Some of the greatest scientific thinkers deeply respect the nonrational, and they aren't afraid to say so. Perhaps it is part of their genius. The nonrational inspires fun, creativity, a connection with others, and a feeling of reverence. Trying to contain our thoughts within reasonableness squeezes the life out of them. The simple beauty of color and form in a stone; the graceful, synchronized movement of a flock of birds; the miracle of understanding and loyalty in a friendship - these are truths beyond our ownership. We can feel these truths. We can be moved and inspired by them. We can never fully know their mysteries.
Our addictive natures have led us men to overemphasize reason and the control it promises. We've become reasonable while discarding the less controlled, creative, humorous, mysterious, and personal aspects of our lives. At this very moment we may be so focused on figuring out the reasonable answer to a problem that we are blocking the gut message, which is also here for us.
I can appreciate rather than understand the mystery of life.

You are reading from the book Each Day a New Beginning.
I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring. --Dodie Smith
Repeatedly, today and every day, we will be in new situations, new settings with old friends, and old settings and situations with new friends. Each instance is fresh, unlike all the times before. And inspiration can accompany each moment, if we but recognize how special it is.
"We will not pass this way again," so the song says, which heightens the meaning of each encounter, every experience. Acknowledging that something can be gained each step along the way invites inspiration.
Inspiration moves us to new heights. We will be called to step beyond our present boundaries. Maybe today. Whenever the inspiration catches our attention, we can trust its invitation; we are ready for the challenge it offers. We need not let our narrow, personal expectations of an experience, a new situation perhaps, prevent us from being open to all the dynamic possibilities it offers.
I must be willing to let my whole self be moved, inspired. I must be willing to let each moment I experience be the only moment getting my attention.

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go.
Valuing Our Needs
When we don't ask for what we want and need, we discount ourselves. We deserve better.
Maybe others taught us it wasn't polite or appropriate to speak up for ourselves. The truth is, if we don't, our unmet wants and needs may ultimately come back to haunt our relationships. We may end up feeling angry or resentful, or we may begin to punish someone else for not guessing what we need. We may end the relationship because it doesn't meet our needs.
Intimacy and closeness are only possible in a relationship when both people can say what they want and need. Sustained intimacy demands this.
Sometimes, we may even have to demand what we want. That's called setting a boundary. We do this not to control another person, but to gain control of our life.
Our attitude toward our needs is important too. We must value them and take them seriously if we expect others to take us seriously. When we begin to place value and importance on our needs we'll see a remarkable change. Our wants and needs will begin to get met.
Today, I will respect the wants and needs of others and myself. I will tell others, my Higher Power, and myself what I want and need. I will listen to what they want and need too.

It feels so good to accept myself just as I am today. All my thoughts and actions and emotions are right where they belong.
--Ruth Fishel


Journey To The Heart

Don’t Pick Up Energy That’s Not Yours

I walked into the small-town diner and sat down at the counter. I was the only customer, but the waitress ignored me. I waited while she sat in a booth, reading the paper. Finally, she lowered the paper. “Is there something you want?” she barked from across the room.

By the time I left the restaurant, I felt as crabby as the waitress appeared. It took a while to figure out what happened, what had changed my mood. Then I realized I had picked up her negative energy– feelings that had nothing to do with me. It was like someone had splashed my windshield with mud.

Most of us have crabby days and an adundance of our own feelings to deal with. We don’t need to let others splash their negative energy on us. We don’t need to pick it up and carry it around. If someone splashes your windshield with mud while you’re driving down the road, what do you do? You wash it off and go on your way.

Learn to tell when what you’re feeling is your emotions, and your business. Learn to tell when someone has splashed on you. You don’t have to take responsibility for what’s not yours. Be done with it as quickly as possible.

Thoughts are energy. Crabby thoughts and crabby emotions can be like mud. If someone splashes on you, wash off your windshield, send them a blessing, and go on down the road.


More Language Of Letting Go

Enjoy the ordinary

Days before, there had been a tremendous storm out in the Pacific Ocean. Now the swells from the storm were smashing against the shore in California. The tide rose and rose. The house shook with each wave as the breaking water slammed into the pilings under the house.

I went to bed but couldn’t sleep. I got up and walked outside to check on the kayak. It was still there, but the water was far up under the house, threatneing to grab the boat. I went back to bed and eventually drifted off to sleep in spite of the noisy, angry sea.

The next day, the sea returned to normal. That night when I went to bed, the gentle rolling of the sea lulled me to sleep. Soon, I forgot about the storm, how loud and angry the waves had been. I once again began to take the gentle soothing sound of the surf for granted.

It’s easy to take many things in our life for granted: health, the presence of a loved one in our life, friends, food, even sobriety and recovery. When life proceeds smoothly, it’s easy to take the ordinary for granted.

Look at the ordinary in your life. How would you feel if it was taken away? Don’t just be grateful for successes. Be grateful for and celebrate the ordinary in your world.

God, help me to not take anything for granted. Teach me to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate the ordinary in this world. Help me see how beautiful and meaningful the ordinary really is.


The Joy Of Being
Celebrating The In-Between Times

While celebrations are intended to honor life’s more momentous occasions, much of real life tends to happen during the in-between times. While moving from one moment in time to the next is seldom considered a significant occurrence, it is during those in-between times that we are most in tune with life’s most profound, albeit simple joys. Between birth and death, triumph and sorrow, beginnings and endings, we enjoy innumerable experiences that often happen unnoticed. These times are just as worthy of celebration.

The in-between times are seldom about landmark moments. How you choose to celebrate them or which moments you choose to celebrate is up to you. You may want to celebrate the simple facts that you are alive and that every day is a chance to spend time with the people you care about or do the work that you love. Then again, when you look at the good that exists in your life, many reasons for celebrating the in-between times may become clear: a cup of your favorite tea, a beautiful sunrise, a good book, and the smell of fresh air can be reasons for celebration.

Celebrating the in-between times can be as easy as paying special attention to them when they do happen, rather than taking them for granted. It’s your focus of attention that can turn an in-between time into a celebration. You can also pay homage to the in-between times by slowing down and allowing yourself time to look around and allow your heart and mind to take in all of your life’s wonders. Far too often, we can let those simple moments of awe pass us by. The in-between times are when life happens to us between the pauses that we take to honor our milestones occasions. Without the in-between times, there would be no big moments to celebrate. Published with permission from Daily OM


A Day At A Time

Reflection For The Day

We often see people in The Program — devoutly and with seeming sincerity — ask for God’s guidance on matters ranging from major crises to such insignificant things as what to serve at a dinner party. Though they may be well-intentioned, such people tend to force their wills into all sorts of situations — with the comfortable assurance that they’re following God’s specific directions. In reality, this sort of prayer is nothing more than a self0serving demand of God for “replies;” it has little to do with The Program’s suggested Eleventh Step. Do I strive regularly to study each of the Steps, and to practice them in all my affairs?

Today I Pray

May I not make the common mistake of listing my own solutions for God and then asking for a stamp of Divine approval. May I catch myself if I am not really opening my mind to Gods guidance, but merely laying out my own answers with a “what do You think of these?” attitude.

Today I Will Remember

Am I looking for Gods rubber stamp?


One More Day

There are some remedies worse than the disease.
– Publilius Syrus

Sometimes the very medicines prescribed to help us return to a more stable health situation can cause side effects which can be nearly intolerable. How ludicrous that a drug intended to help us shake off the exhaustion caused by a chronic health condition can cause fatigue. What a joke on us that a pill taken for arthritics, for example, can cause other potential medical problems.

Despite these side effects, we should not stop following dosage instructions until we talk with our doctors, who can help minimize the side effects. In this way we will gain one more foothold in the process of learning to live with our problems.

I ‘ll try to keep communication lines open with my doctor to make it as easy as possible upon myself.


Food For Thought

Decisions About Food

We compulsive overeaters often find it extremely difficult to make decisions about food. We wonder if we are getting enough or too much, if we are eating the right kind of food, if we will be hungry tomorrow. The process of planning our three meals a day can be agonizing if we cannot decide which foods to choose.

Here is where a food sponsor can give us the assistance and support we need. Since someone who has traveled the road before us will be informed of our menus, we can relax and know that our decisions will be checked by an objective listener. As long as the choices we make fall under the food plan, which we have determined to follow, they will be good decisions.

Having written down our food plan for the day and having given it to our sponsor, we do not need to make any further decisions about food today. Recognizing that our obsessive worry about food is an illness, we will turn off further deliberations and work our program

Today I will make only those decisions about food that are necessary to my program.


One Day At A Time

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
The Bible, Book of Psalms

As a practicing compulsive overeater, I was obsessed with getting my "fair share" and stockpiling everything from food to friends. I was afraid there wouldn't be "enough" in the future. One of the Promises of the program states that "Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us." But just how can I calm down when the thought comes that there isn't enough, or that there won't be enough in the future?

At a recent meeting, the speaker said that when he began to worry about his finances, he would ask himself, "Do I have enough money between now and the time I go to bed?" Since we're only alive in the moment, that's really the appropriate time frame. To me, that sounds like the best example of "One Day At A Time" thinking I've heard so far! Additionally, this could be applied to anything else I might worry about: "Do I have enough FOOD between now and bedtime?... enough LOVE?" You-fill-in-the-blank, because it isn't always just economic insecurity that haunts us!

One Day at a Time . . .
I'm learning to trust my Higher Power, which always supplies my needs. Whenever I start to worry, I can ask myself if I have enough to last between now and the time I go to bed, and cultivate trust and appreciation for the gifts I receive daily.


AA 'Big Book' - Quote

The man in the bed was told of the acute poisoning from which he suffered, how it deteriorates the body of an alcoholic and warps his mind. There was much talk about the mental state preceding the first drink.

'Yes, that's me,' said the sick man, 'the very image. You fellows know your stuff all right, but I don't see what good it'll do. You fellows are somebody. I was once, but I'm a nobody now. From what you tell me, I know more than ever I can't stop.' At this both the visitors burst into a laugh. Said the future Fellow Anonymous: '**** little to laugh about that I can see.'

The two friends spoke of their spiritual experience and told him about the course of action they carried out. - Pg. 157 - A Vision For You

Hour To Hour - Book - Quote

In the first days and months of recovery we must practice a strict adherence to our program suggestions. We are vulnerable to our addiction calling us back. But if we follow the suggestions religiously, we will earn our 30 day, 90 day, 1 year chip.

God, as I understand You, help me stay clean and sober to the next hour.

Spirit Calls

I am willing to allow my life to happen. Life has taught me that the best laid plans can go awry. I know that I need to have goals and missions in order to give shape, meaning and a sense of destiny to my life. However, when I let those goals run me, when I let them preoccupy me to such an extent that I stop living in the present and I miss the beauty and spontaneity of each new day, then I am becoming a slave to my own plans. I will learn to take an action and let go of the result, to have a goal then to move toward it in a relaxed manner that doesn't rob me of my pleasure and my day.

I am in touch with spirit within and without

- Tian Dayton PhD

Pocket Sponsor - Book - Quote

Some people do not have to have a program to stop drinking and using. But for us, we remember untreated abstinence will make our past our future.

I don't work the program to get my life back; I work the program to get my life forward.

"Walk Softly and Carry a Big Book" - Book

Serenity comes when you stop expecting and start accepting.

Time for Joy - Book - Quote

It feels so good to accept myself just as I am today. All my thoughts and actions and emotions are right where they belong.

Alkiespeak - Book - Quote

Other drugs; I never stopped doing one thing to do something else, I just kinda 'added to'. - Allen F.
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